Explore The City Of Bristol This Weekend With Over 60 Experiences To Choose From

Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd - Staff Writer


Visit the likes of Temple Church and Ashton Court at the Bristol Open Doors festival.

Opening the doors to a number of experiences including buildings, sites and shows across the city for one weekend only, Bristol Open Doors festival is back, but not as you know it. For 2021, the city-wide festival is offering you the chance to explore the city with your own ‘Explorer wristband’ that allows you to choose from over 60 specially curated experiences. There will be 10,000 ‘adventures’ taking place across the city, so there’s something for everyone’s taste.

Credit: Jon Craig

The Bristol Open Doors programme boasts a huge range of experiences to choose from, whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in audio tours, such as the Queer Bristol Tour, take a ride on a boat, learn more about the Changing Harbour, Upfest, discover the history of Motion by daylight, tour Circomedia, Puppet Place or take an atmospheric audio tour in the Redcliffe Caves. The Bristol Open Doors ‘Explorer wristband’ allows you to choose up to four of the 67 experiences on offer meaning you’ll definitely have a jam-packed weekend. 

This year the festival also features theatre performances at Ashton Court ‘Show of Strength’ -where audiences can explore a moment at home with the Smyths. From high born to low born, from Civil War to Second,World War and from first resident Hugh Smyth to Esme Smyth. Follow the Smyth’s and their servants through 400 years of Bristolian history where you’ll discover stories of family secrets, buried treasure and impostors.


Also included in this year’s programme is the chance to tour Temple Church and see up close the specialist conservation that is happening. The leaning tower and walls of this large late medieval church survived bombing during the Second World War. Tour the internal space led by historic experts and discover how the work will protect the building’s history and hear about the building’s unique features including the aumbry & reredos, repairs to stonework and the stone tracery of the windows.

Anna Rutherford, Director at Bristol Open Doors explains: “It’s been a busy lockdown for us, working with audio designers, artists and historians to create a living history of the city’s spaces, to be explored by socially distanced groups. This year, for the safety of our brilliant audiences, venues and volunteers, all experiences must be pre-booked online which allows us to keep group numbers safe. We’re excited that this year’s programme gets you behind the scenes of some of Bristol’s cultural icons with plenty of surprises!” 

Credit: Paul Blakemore

All of the events from this year’s programme have been designed to ensure audiences feel safe and will each have a bookable time slot, with lots of experiences being outdoors, including five  immersive audio tours, boat tours, and outdoor theatre. Bristol Open Doors is a chance to explore the city easily and thanks to First Bus you can now travel between venues for free over the weekend with your ‘Explorer wristband’. 

Explorer wristbands are on sale for this year’s festival here, and once purchased, you will then be able to book up to 4 experiences using your unique code.

Read more: This Immersive Multimedia Experience Is Bringing The Ocean Back To The SS Great Britain

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